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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by zimv20, Apr 6, 2006.
even the DA's oppose this one:
Presumably it's open season on black door-to-door salesmen in honky neighborhoods, then?
A stranger breaks into my house and they're eating a cartdige full of lead shot.
I don't care if I get locked up for it.
Cheapens life? The guy who broke into your house obviously doesn't give a **** about yours...
There, there's the ugly Republican side of me rearing it's head.
What if he's lurking around and you're certain he's up to no good?
You talk the talk, but I don't believe your heart's in it.
Yeah, then too.
Maybe not all the way, but I do know if I caught someone breaking in my house and I knew that they were threatening Rob and me I would not hesitate. Not for a second.
If they were just trying to steal my G5 I might just blow off their arm.
Usually pointing the gun at them does the trick. Most burglars are unarmed and looking for crack money.
Ditto... 'cept that's not any part of me being Republican, just fair.
Of course if you come into my house without permission it's just a matter of whether me or the dog gets to you first! (He's pretty quick and his teeth are always close at hand. )
I'm as bleeding hearted as they come (although my location may tell a different tale) but if I have a gun and some asswipe breaks in my home to steal my stuff or harm my family, he will not walk out of the house alive (again, this may be a viewpoint based on my location).
I just can't grasp how if a man breaks into your home and means to do you or your family harm and you shoot him, you're the criminal? There are some pretty skewed laws here in the US.
in general, you're not. if you are truly in danger, that's one thing. but what if you're not? what if, for example, the guy climbs in the window, sees you, then starts climbing back out? do you shoot?
As a full believer in the castle doctrine, I really like this bill. If someone breaks into my home, I have every right to stop them as I see fit. Would I want to kill them? No. I believe that they should suffer fear jsut as they have caused fear in my family. That means a non-lethal shot that will cause heavy bleeding.
No criminal will ever be deterred by the law (sort of inherent in the concept of being a criminal). Now the law does not deter you (at least if you are in Alabama), from stoppign the criminal.
And zim - the question is one of reasonableness. If it is reasonable to believe that you are in danger, with a burden on the opposition to show that it wasn't, then I think you have every right to defend yourself.
That's not the only troubling scenario that this introduces.
Suppose you're involved in a fender-bender with someone on the way home from work today. You get out of your car to inspect the damage, and then head towards the other driver's car to discuss the matter. The other driver feels threatened, so they pull their gun and shoot.
The castle doctrine (and I presume that this bill) doesn't apply in such a scenario. It is designed to allow an individual to protect their home. If I am outside my home and feel threatened, I am under an obligation to make a reasonable attempt to escape before resorting to any force. The use of lethal (or potentially lethal) force would require even greater justifiction - "The guy pulled out a gun and I was just a faster draw." or "he pulled out a knife and was about to stab my wife."
That's not how I read it, but I'm not very good with the legalese. The bill in question is Senate Bill 283, which states in part:
That last bit especially says to me that I'm not, as you put it, under any obligation to make a reasonable attempt to escape before resorting to any force.
Both bits are extremely disturbing. What's even more disturbing is how the NRA is targeting the south.
Just one more reason to avoid ever going south of the Common Sense Border
no one is disputing such situations. it seems to me that this bill makes it okay to use lethal force and protect oneself from prosecution simply by saying, "he was in my house."
maybe i'm reading it wrong, but i don't know if there's anything from preventing this:
vacuum cleaner salesman: i'm selling vacuum cleaners.
homeowner: come in.
vacuum cleaner salesman: thank you. what a beautiful house. oh, who do we have here?
homeowner: that's my daughter, you pervert!
judge: how do you plead?
homeowner: innocent, he was in my house.
judge: case dismissed.
I doubt thats the intent or reading of the law, its more like i was sleeping and we heard the window brake so we fired our gun at the intruder. Thats what this law is for. Its to protect the home owners who are made guilty for defending their homes from rotton crooks. The guys the system keeps spitting out.
Reading the bill, there are a couple of points that stand out.
The inclusion of the occupied vehicle exception as you cited it concerned me, but looking at the bill, it only applies in subsection 23(a)(4). To use force against a person as it pertains to your vehicle, they have to be in the process of, or actually in, your car. IF they are walking towards, that is still not good enough.
Also, 23(c)(1) and (2) don't let you off the hook. You can't try to get someone to do something so you can use force. If you are the initial aggresor (regardless of intent), you are not justified uless you make it clear that you are backing off and the other person is still coming after you. (3) simply means that duels are still bad...
Reading the bill, all it is saying is that if you are in a personal sanctuary (car, home) and you are being severely threatened or you/3rd party are about to be kidnapped, raped, burgled, or robbed you can use deadly force. I'm guessing that robbery will not be a common situation - too risky to take the time to get out a weapon, much safer to give the person what they want in looking at cost/benefit (except in certain situations).
Do I think the bill is a little overbroad? Yes. I don't know if allowing direct escalation to deadly physical force is a very good idea, but if the legislature had simply decriminalized it when reasonable and prudent in proportion to the threat posed I would be more comfortable.
legislative intent and legal interpretation aren't exactly overlapping.
While that's true, here we have a situation where I think they may (depending on the intent - I haven't seen the hearing transcripts or anything else) overlap. The intent, I would imagine is to allow people to protect themselves/others from attack by an intruder/attacker. The interpretation that any qualified judge would read out of this is that a person would have to reasonably feel threatened. The reasonable standard, while difficult to pinpoint, is about as close as you can get to common sense. Some might say that lower judges in Alabama would be overbroad in what "reasonably threatened" would be, but I (unjustifiably or not) give them more credit than that. Worst case scenario, a DA who wants to get famous real quick would challenge any not guilty verdict for some yokel. Same for any aspiring tort lawyer who gets tossed out because the judge says that there is no standing (I imagine that linking the right to civil action to a guilty verdict won't hold up).
okay, what you're saying i agree with, and i assert is already covered by current law. what is deficient in the current law? what actual cases can the NRA point to in order to say, "see this tragedy? the current laws were insufficient to protect these people, whereas had this new one been in place, their lives would be changed for the better in these manners."
i say enough of hypotheticals. let's see the real-life cases.
or are there any?
That's why I use a tazer. If I had a gun, I'd never want to fire it. With a tazer, as well as some of the other things I use to protect my house (whether I'm home or not) I might not hesitate as much. Though still a little cuz those suckers can hurt.
I don't believe the government should take away your right to own a gun or throw you in jail for defending yourself, but I don't like the details of this law. It's the fine print people. And anything referred to as Shoot First can't be a good thing.
The NRA gets to look effective and will thus solicit more contributions from pleased members.
OT, a little advice. Bad idea. You're not likely to have the luxury of a carefully aimed shot, and any miss will penetrate your walls (unless you're loaded with frangible ammo, and even then it's not a guarantee) and you are responsible for that bullet until it comes to rest. Aim center mass and end it. Anything else actually puts you in legal jeopardy, particularly if a prosecutor can point to a post like this and say you were intentionally trying to inflict fear or pain. For the same reason, only use store-purchased ammo in any weapon you might use for self-defense.
It's the government's responsibility to take action against the criminals and take their guns away from them, not authorize people to kill people who they feel threatened by.